Last week when I arrived at work one of my coworkers was crying. I had absolutely no idea what happened or why she was crying but I immediately started crying. Yes. I knew I was an emotional person but damn, that emotional? I know that I feed off of other people's energy but it was crazy how I felt her hurt and pain without even knowing what happened.
After we talked about what was bothering her, I tried my best to comfort her. I told my coworker that it was ok for her to feel the way she was feeling and not to be embarrassed. Of course no one wants to be boohooing at their place of work but if that's how you're feeling, that's how you're feeling. I shared with her that I've cried in the train station, Payless, at a bus stop, in a diner, and in the food court of my college. I've cried in many more places on the spot and you know what? I don't care. I felt how I felt and I released it. And it's ok.
About 8 or 9 years my aunt gave me some great advice that I still adhere to. She told me that however I am feeling, in that moment it is ok to feel that way and express it. This conversation was around the time that my father died. Before that moment I used to bottle everything up until I got to a point where I'd just explode. Others saw these moments as tantrums but what really was going on was that I didn't know how to express myself and properly communicate when something was bothering me. But after this conversation with my aunt, I became more vocal and unashamed of my feelings. If I'm so upset that I feel like crying, I cry. Sometimes holding it in and trying to be strong isn't really strong. We're all human. And you know what? It's ok.